December 8, 2023

AFP – Gone are the stereotypes. Make-up is officially no longer a woman’s prerogative, as it is taking a growing place in the daily lives of men.

Made popular by celebrities and accessible by several cosmetics brands, make-up for men – or better yet, for everyone – is anything but a fantasy.

In fact, it looks poised to become a strong trend in 2023.

Primers, foundations, concealers, mascaras, nail polishes and lipsticks are no longer reserved for women, far from it, as men are now also getting involved.

And that’s perhaps nothing out of the ordinary, considering that men were already wearing make-up in the antiquity era.

But, over time, these beauty rituals became the preserve of women, standing in direct opposition to the stereotypes and preconceived ideas surrounding masculinity, and especially, virility.

But that was without counting on younger generations and their determination to break the codes and shatter all kinds of rules and expectations.

As we’ve seen in recent years, beauty has gradually broken free of these constraints.

Men first embraced skincare, almost everywhere in the world, pampering their skin like their female counterparts, before succumbing to hair removal, on various body parts, and then salon treatments.

In fact, it’s no longer an option for men not to take care of themselves – just like women – and the phenomenon is now going even further to embrace make-up, now considered as an art or a form of self-expression, more than just a beautifying process.


On social networks, make-up for men is already gaining a host of followers with many tutorials, inspirations and trends to follow. The hashtag #makeupformen has now reached 120 million views, while #boysinmakeup has 275 million views.

This strong interest has resulted in the proliferation of make-up influencers who now share their techniques and tips for women as well as men.

France’s Fabian, for example, turns make-up into a veritable art form, while James Charles was one of the first men to have fronted a make-up brand. Patrick Starrr, meanwhile, is followed by millions of people on social media.

These various influencers have all contributed to popularising make-up for men, like many celebrities.

Such stars include Harry Styles, Lil Nas X, Pete Davidson and Travis Barker, who have largely contributed to boosting the popularity of eyeliner, mascara, and particularly nail polish for men. Fashion designer Olivier Rousteing and actor Channing Tatum could also be added to the list.

More recently, French actor Pierre Niney shared snaps from a photo shoot for Citizen K magazine, in which he poses wearing make-up.


Several of these celebrities have actually gone one step further by launching their own beauty brands.

Harry Styles, for example, has a unisex cosmetics brand called Pleasing, including skincare and make-up, while Machine Gun Kelly has a nail polish brand called UN/DN LAQR, and Tyler, The Creator has his Golf Le Fleur line of nail polish and fragrances.

And that’s to name just a handful of the celebrities who have helped make make-up more accessible – and more mainstream – for men. But other, even more popular, cosmetics brands are now offering a host of make-up products aimed at men.

Chanel, MAC Cosmetics and CoverGirl are among the pioneers in this field, but they are now joined by many brands offering make-up for men, or more simply, make-up for everyone. This is the case of Dior, which uses its classic make-up range to enhance the beauty of its male models on the runway, not to mention MMUK, War Paint For Men or ALTR London.

It’s a real step forward in the cosmetics sector, although most, if not all, of these products don’t really need to be aimed specifically at men or women. Beauty, after all, is everyone’s business.


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